12-13 Volunteer Guidelines copy - Pasco County Schools


12-13 Volunteer Guidelines copy - Pasco County Schools



General Principles:

1. The District Volunteer Programs Office operates with the approval of the District

School Board of Pasco County and the school administration and is at all times

guided by the principles and policies of the school district.

2. Volunteers are authorized through the District School Board of Pasco County

Volunteer Registration Form application and Pasco County Sheriff’s Office criminal

background check process including sexual predator/offender screening through

Florida’s Department of Law Enforcement.

3. Each school has a designated school-based volunteer coordinator. The District

Supervisor of Volunteer Programs provides in-service training, recruitment,

recognition, and supportive services to volunteers and school staff.

4. Volunteers are assigned to schools by request and approval of the principal. Teachers

and other school personnel may be asked to make recommendations for the

principal’s consideration.

5. Volunteers serve only in an auxiliary capacity under the direction and supervision of

professional school personnel.

6. Volunteers provide supplemental and supportive services and are not a substitute for a

member of the school staff.

7. Volunteers do not have access to sensitive confidential records or files.

8. The relationship between volunteers and the school staff must be one of mutual

respect, confidence and consideration.

9. Volunteers must always sign in and out and wear their Pasco County Volunteer

identification badge on Pasco school property.

10. Volunteers representing religious organizations will not be discriminated against on

the basis of religious affiliation, and will be advised to keep their focus on assisting

schools in reaching their goals of student achievement.

School Volunteer Program

1. Definition: A volunteer is a non-paid person functioning under the sponsorship of the

School Board and at the direction of a principal or the Supervisor of Volunteer

Programs. The efforts of volunteers are to support and advance the goals of the

school and school district.

2. The District School Board of Pasco County encourages volunteer participation by

individuals and groups in local schools, district offices and for supervised off-school

activities, before, during, and after school hours.

3. The Supervisor of Volunteer Programs shall be responsible for the volunteer program

and its compliance with all laws pertaining to volunteers, which shall include the

recruitment of volunteers and the evaluation of the volunteer program.

4. All volunteers must be approved prior to volunteering in any capacity in the

school or school district.

Volunteer Registration Form

Application and Approval Process

1. Complete an online Pasco County Volunteer Registration Form at:


2. The applicant’s background is checked against the Florida Sexual Offenders and

Predators list and law enforcement records through the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office.

3. If the background checks returns showing no criminal background, the individual will

be placed on the approved volunteer list. If a valid email address was supplied at the

time of application, the individual will receive an approval email message.

4. Volunteers whose background check is not clear will receive a letter from the Office

of Human Resources and Educator Quality requesting additional documentation. The

District’s Professional Review Committee determines if the applicant is approved to

volunteer based on the documents submitted.

a. An applicant is deemed “Pending” if failing to provide documentation and may

not volunteer in any capacity in the school or school district.

b. An applicant who does not receive clearance by the District’s Professional

Review Committee is not approved to volunteer in any capacity in the school

or school district.

Volunteer Guidelines

1. Volunteers shall work within guidelines established by the School Board and the

authorized administrator(s).

2. Volunteers shall work under the direction and supervision of the principal, teacher(s)

or other members of the school staff or the District Supervisor of Volunteer


3. Volunteers may perform any task assigned by their supervisors if approved by the

principal or the District Supervisor of Volunteer Programs.

4. Volunteers may not have access to the student information system or cumulative

records unless they have principal permission and clearly understand the need for

confidentiality of student records.

5. Volunteers may not grade subjective assignments that result in a grade for the student

or are considered a formal assessment of the student’s achievement or ability.

6. Volunteers may not supervise a class in the teacher’s absence.

7. Volunteers may come in contact with student information in the course of their duties.

Volunteers are advised that they are required to maintain strict confidentiality with all

school or classroom information and shall agree in writing that they will comply with

the requirement.

8. Teachers, administrators, and volunteers shall be aware of all state and local policies,

procedures, and laws relevant to volunteer responsibilities.

9. Volunteers may not take students off-campus during the day unless approved by the

principal and accompanied by a faculty/staff member.

10. Volunteers may not work with students before or after school hours unless part of an

authorized District School Board of Pasco County Volunteer Program.

11. Volunteers may not chaperone an approved field trip unless the volunteer is

registered, approved, and accompanied by a faculty/staff member.

Volunteers and Personal Children

Volunteers should never bring preschoolers or children not registered in school when

volunteering at the school. An option may be to seek out opportunities to volunteer from

home if unable to find alternative childcare for their own personal children not enrolled in

our schools.

Management and Insurance

1. Volunteers must be registered with the District Communications and Government

Relations and when registered are protected by the District School Board of Pasco

County’s Self-Insured General Liability Program. The extent of this protection shall

not exceed $100,000 per claimant or $200,000 per occurrence in damages. In case of

accident or injury the volunteer must immediately report to the school or district

administrator on duty. The administrator will report the accident or injury following

standard procedures.

2. All schools must utilize Raptor’s Volunteer Module to sign in/out and manage

volunteer logs. Raptor will record volunteer names, dates, hours of service and tasks

assigned and produce data logs for school and district reporting. All volunteers must

sign in and out in the front office when volunteering in a school.

3. Off-Campus Volunteer Instructional Services: Volunteer instructional tutoring

services provided by groups in conjunction with public schools must first receive the

approval of the principal. All volunteers must be pre-approved (See Pasco County

Volunteer Registration Form application and Approval Process.)

Equal Opportunity

The District School Board of Pasco County does not discrimination on the basis of race,

color, national origin, marital status, sex, religion, age, or disability.

Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior, demand, comment, or physical contact of

a sexual nature that interferes with either a volunteer or employee’s responsibilities.

Bullying and Harassment

The School Board of Pasco County is committed to providing an educational setting that

is safe, secure, and free from harassment and bullying for all of its students and

employees. The District will not tolerate unlawful bullying and harassment of any type.

Conduct that constitutes bullying and harassment is prohibited: (A) during any education

related program or activity conducted by the District; (B) during any school-related or

school-sponsored program or activity on a school bus of the District, or (C) through the

use of the Internet, cellphones, and related technologies. For the information on bullying,

cyber bullying and harassment, please go to


Dress Code

Dress codes are established at each school. School administrators have the authority to

enforce the dress code as needed. School volunteers should dress neatly and

professionally. Clothing and shoes should be such that the volunteer will be comfortable

and safe. As with students, attire which advertises drugs or alcoholic beverages, or which

is vulgar or obscene in nature is not permitted. Some volunteer assignments require the

use of special safety equipment such as back supports. Volunteers who fail to use safety

devices or disregard the dress code may be directed to no longer volunteer.

Access to Student Records

By District School Board of Pasco County policy, volunteers must keep information

learned about students between themselves and their assigned supervisor. A misplaced

comment can be devastating to a student, a family and the volunteer program. Volunteers

who have questions or concerns are directed to talk with their principal or the District

Volunteer Program Supervisor. Volunteers who breach confidentiality will have their

privilege of volunteering revoked.

Parental Notification of Volunteers Working with Students

When a student will be working with a volunteer mentor, the school notifies the parents

of the potential match of their child with a mentor and reminds them of the necessity of a

joint commitment from the student, teacher, school, family and volunteer mentor.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect

Any volunteer who has reason to believe that a child has been subject to abuse or

maltreatment must report to the principal, assistant principal or guidance counselor. The

school official will call the necessary authorities in the volunteer’s presence. Volunteers

may call the child abuse hotline directly; however, the school administration must be

informed. The following should be reported: neglect; malnutrition; sexual abuse;

physical injury; mental injury and/or failure to provide sustenance, clothing, shelter or

medical attention. Failure to report is a misdemeanor of the second degree and is

punishable by law. Persons reporting are guaranteed immunity from any civil or criminal


Court Ordered Community Service

Court ordered placements are not volunteer placements. Those individuals who are

required to complete court ordered community service are directed to contact other nonschool


Teacher-supervised Programs

Any teacher instructing in a District School Board of Pasco County sponsored program

either on or off a school site, or before, during or after the school day, will abide by the

District School Board of Pasco County’s District Volunteer policies and procedures.

Volunteers working in a teacher-supervised program as defined above will abide by the

program guidelines outlined in School Board Policy.

Pre-Kindergarten Services

Early Childhood Programs Head Start/Early Head Start

Volunteer and Visitor Procedures

Head Start Performance Standards, 1304.40(d)(2) addressing Head Start/Early Head Start

settings require that the classroom must be open to parents during all program hours.

Parents must be welcomed as visitors and encouraged to observe children as often as

possible and to participate with children in group activities. (The term “parent” shall

refer to “parent” or “legal guardian.”)

In order to meet the intent of the Head Start Performance Standards, and at the same time

protect our students, schools should follow these guidelines regarding parents

participating in their child’s classroom:

1. All parents who have children participating in the Head Start/Early Head Start

programs must complete an online volunteer application. The application will be

processed as described under the section entitled, District School Board of Pasco

County Volunteer Registration Form Application and Approval Process.

2. Parents who are approved school volunteers will become familiar with the school’s

volunteer coordinator and procedures. These approved volunteers should sign in with

the school volunteer coordinator so that their hours can be submitted to the District

Volunteer Programs Office on a monthly basis. They should also sign in on the

Weekly Class Volunteer Time Sheet maintained by Head Start/Early Head Start staff.

3. Parents who are approved volunteers will wear a school volunteer badge, which

clearly communicates that they have been approved as a volunteer and are allowed to

volunteer, as needed. All approved volunteers operate under the direction of the

school administration or designee(s).

4. Parents not completing a volunteer application will be assigned to “visitor” status.

Visitor status does not exclude parents from participation but limits their involvement

to working only with their own child and under direct supervision of a professional

staff member.

5. If a parent has applied to be an approved volunteer and the background check does

not return clear, the parent is asked to provide further documentation as described in

the section entitled, District School Board of Pasco County Volunteer Registration

Form Application and Approval Process.

6. A parent whose volunteer application has been denied by the Professional Review

Committee may, at the Professional Review Committee’s discretion, be given

“visitor” status. Persons assigned visitor status may be permitted to participate in the

classroom but will not be allowed to work with any child other than their own and

only while under the direct supervision of an authorized staff member.

7. Parents assigned “visitor” status must sign in at the school office. They must obtain

and wear a visitor identification badge. They must record their classroom

participation time on the Weekly Class Volunteer Time Sheet maintained by Head

Start/Early Head Start staff. These hours should not be submitted to, nor recorded by

the School Volunteer Coordinator. These parents are not allowed to visit other areas

of the school. Their participation is restricted to the Head Start/Early Head Start

classroom with their own child while under direct supervision.

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